US Ditches Mubarak, Ctd

by Patrick Appel

Nick Kristof expects Mubarak's speech "will not placate the public." And Kristof fears that "this choreography – sending former diplomat Frank Wisner .... to get Mubarak to say he won’t run for reelection will further harm America’s image":

This will come across in Egypt as collusion between Obama and Mubarak to distract the public with a half step; it will be interpreted as dissing the democracy movement once again. This will feed the narrative that it’s the United States that calls the shots in the Mubarak regime, and that it’s the United States that is trying to outmaneuver the democracy movement. In effect, we have confirmed to a suspicious Egyptian public that we are in bed with Mubarak and trying to perpetuate his regime (even without him at the top) in defiance of a popular democratic movement.

But the US wasn't entirely happy with the speech:

U.S. officials, reacting to the speech, said Mubarak would have to go more swiftly than his remarks had indicated. "People are sending a clear message it is time for Mubarak to step aside," U.S. officials told CNN.